YANGYANG IN KOREA – 10 BEST THINGS TO DO

Yangyang

WHAT TO DO IN YANGYANG? IS YANGYANG GOOD FOR SURFING? BESIDES THE BEACH WHAT ELSE TO SEE IN YANGYANG?

If you are looking for the perfect beach vibes in Korea, then head to Yangyang on the east coast. Yangyang is the Bali of South Korea, a true surf paradise and the perfect gateway if you live in Seoul.

Located in Gangwon-do, Yangyang is very popular with Koreans and tourists who come to enjoy the beautiful sea on the east coast.

Over the years, Yangyang became famous for surfing and it is now a trendy place with great cafes, restaurants, surf shops, and a lot more, which you are about to discover in this post.


Main Highlights about Yangyang in Korea:

– Enjoy Yangyang Surfing Culture
– Visit the beautiful Naksan Temple
– Discover some beautiful cafes with a view!
– Visit unique landscapes such as Hajodae Pavilion
– And so much more which you can discover in this post


Here is a teaser about what to expect when visiting Yangyang in South Korea:



When we moved to South Korea, we had no idea about the beautiful beaches all around the country.

Throughout our travel in Korea, we kept discovering incredible beaches which we decided to list here, as the 25 best beaches in South Korea. Check it out!

As we both love surfing, we quickly heard about a surf paradise in Korea called Yangyang. So after the first few months of living in Korea, we decided to take a trip on the East Coast.

We couldn’t believe how beautiful the East Coast was and wondered why no one told us about this place before. That day, the waves were pumping, so we directly went to rent surfboards in Jukdo Beach, and we surfed pretty much the whole day.

In Yangyang, everything is so oriented to the surfing culture, that even the public toilet signs are shaped in surfboard:


Yangyang in South Korea

Jukdo Beach and Ingu Beach are basically 2 beaches separated by a small hill in the middle. However, you can easily access both beaches on foot as there are several roads linking them.

For us, Jukdo and Ingu are the true heart of Yangyang. This is the place that made us feel like Bali. Cafes and restaurants right by the beach, plenty of surf shops, people walking around with their longboards, and overall awesome and friendly vibes.

If you are visiting Yangyang, then we highly recommend to book a hotel or guesthouse in this area. It’s very convenient, as you basically won’t need a car once you are there.

Here we listed the best things to do in this area of Yangyang:


ENJOY SURFING

Yangyang in South Korea

Both beaches, Jukdo and Ingu offer surf lessons and board rentals. It is one of the most popular places to surf in South Korea, so expect it to be very crowded on the weekend. If you want the beach for yourself, then head there during weekdays when the weather gets a bit colder in Autumn.

The rental shops offer board rental and all the other necessary equipment such as a Wetsuit and even gloves and boots when the water gets too cold. The rental shops are open all year round, indeed the best time for surfing in Korea is during Winter (more info in this post).

In Ingu, we recommend Barrel for surf lessons and to rent your gear (website here).


ENJOY A COFFEE WITH THE BEST SEA VIEW

There are many awesome cafes in Jukdo and Ingu, here we listed some of our favorite ones:

Please Wait is one of the most well-known cafes in Yangyang. Why? Well, because at night they usually have DJs playing great songs. Please Wait is a cafe during the day, but transforms into a great place to party by the beach at night. You can’t miss it, as it is located on the main strip of Ingu Beach.


Mahalo Cafes is one of the best spots to check surfers catching waves on Jukdo Beach. On top of serving delicious cafes, Mahalo is also a hotel, with fantastic rooms with full sea views. Find out more on their website here.


GO FOR A BRUNCH

There are 2 very famous brunch places in Ingu Beach.

Fika is a very cute place that serves delicious brunch. They only have a few options, but each of them is so good! Honestly, one of the best brunch we had in South Korea and the staff was really nice. We especially enjoyed the Salmon with egg Benedict.

Yangyang in South Korea

Another legendary brunch place in Yangyang is Tyler Surf Shop. The food there is so good. However, make sure to come early, as it gets full very quickly in the morning. You may have to wait a little to get in, but it’s all worth it. Check out their Instagram here.


GO SHOPPING

There are a few surf shops in Ingu Beach worth checking.

Schurrers is a beautiful surf shop, which also offers coffee and various drinks. We loved the great choices of surfboards, but also clothing for men and women. Schurrers is located near Fika Brunch. Make sure to check it out if you are in Yangyang.

Barrel is not only a great surf shop, but also a fantastic surf school. If you are looking for a very professional surf lesson in Yangyang, check out Barrel. The shop is located right by Ingu Beach. You can’t really miss it.

Yangyang

Patagonia is a famous brand for high-quality outdoor clothing. They have their own shop in Yangyang, located right beside Tyler Surf Shop Brunch place. They offer all sorts of clothes, which fit perfectly in Yangyang’s surf vibe.


DO A BONFIRE ON THE BEACH

Yangyang in South Korea

At night, one of the most popular activities on Ingu beach is starting a bonfire. Buy the wood at any of the convenience stores nearby, and start your own fire on the beach. We spent one of the most memorable evenings in South Korea when starting our own fire. We spent most of the night drinking by the beach chatting together and meeting other people. It was such a great time.


PARTY HARD!

If you want to party at night, then search no longer. Head to Surf Cliff on the main road along Ingu Beach. You can’t miss it. Most likely there will be loud music and people dancing on the table. Yup, no kidding! Check it out if you stay in Yangyang, you will have a great time.


CHECK OUT SOME OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS

We discovered a few options in Ingu and Jukdo which are worth checking out if you stay in Yangaygn (besides brunch places).

If you craving pizza, search no longer. Head straight to Pibing Lounge. They offer the best pizza in town. After a full day of surfing, you will be starving. We highly recommend this place.

Location: here


Missing South East Asia? Well, we did say that Yangyang was the Bali of Korea. So head to Warung Patrick for the best Indonesian food in Korea.

Location: here


Feeling like in Hawaii, well Yangyang also offers Hawaiian food at the newly open Poipu Restaurant. For those who don’t know, Poipu is a famous beach in Hawaii, located on the island of Kauai (check out our post here for visiting Kauai).

Poipu has 2 branches, one in Gangneung, and 1 in Yangyang.

Location: here (Yangyang)


A few minutes drive from Jukdo Beach, you will reach the famous Surfyy Beach in Yangyang (located at the far end of Hajodae Beach).

Surfyy Beach has been entirely designed to focus on surfing activities. At Surffy Beach you can take surfing lessons from specialists ranging from complete beginners to more advanced levels. You can book your surf lesson here.

The place is also famous due to all the facilities built around surfing. Surfyy Beach offers great lounge areas, nice cafes, and bars with a perfect chill atmosphere. The beach was also the location of the famous Korean drama called ‘Lovestruck in the City‘.

Surfyy Beach is a great location by itself, however, make sure to also check out the next 2 places below, both located on Hajodae Beach:


SINGLEFIN ALE WORKS

To see one of the most stylish restaurants in Yangyang, head to Singlefin Aleworks. This awesome place located near Surfyy Beach serves great beer and food in a trendy environment. They are most famous for their Chicago Pizza. It is a must-see if you are in Yangyang.


TANN BEACH CLUB

In Yangyang, check out THE MOST stylish place of all, newly opened in 2021: Tann Beach. This place combines hotels, restaurants, and bars and often organizes events such as pool parties.

Tann Beach is another reason, why Yangyang just feels like being in Bali, Canggu. Check out their website for more info here.


Yangyang in South Korea

In Hajodae, we also recommend the observatory to enjoy a panoramic view of the place. The observatory allow you to walk on transparent glass above a cliff overlooking the sea.

It is possible to admire different kinds of landscapes from the Hajodae Observatory. You can enjoy the view of the Eastern Sea with its emerald blue reflections and the mountains in the background with Seoraksan Mountain.

Yangyang in South Korea

We also recommend the ‘dulle-gil’ Hajodae walking path along the coast between the observatory and a small resting place behind. It is a pleasant and peaceful coastal trail.


Yangyang in South Korea

Hajodae refers to the area that extends around the pavilion located on the peaks of the coastline. The site is renowned for its mountains and rocky islands, but also for its pine forests and coastal landscapes around the pavilion.

From the Hajodae pavilion, you can appreciate a very particular pine tree against the backdrop of the Eastern Sea and rocky cliffs. The 200-year-old tree is featured prominently in the first verse of the national anthem.

You can enjoy a short trail along the coast on top of various cliffs. It is a nice place to enjoy the beautiful sea of the east coast.


Yangyang in South Korea

One of the most beautiful temples in Korea is located in Yangyang, called Naksansa or Naksan Temple.

Naksan Temple is built on a cliff with a panoramic view of the East Coast. This temple is listed among the 33 sacred places in the country housing a large statue “Bodhisattva Avalokitesvar”, a statue of 16 meters high which largely makes the reputation of the site. It is said that touching the statue at the foot of the monument makes wishes come true.

Yangyang in South Korea

Naksansa has a history spanning 1,300 years. It was built by the great monk Ui-sang, during the reign of Munmu, 30th king of the Silla dynasty (-57 ~ 935), and counts among its monuments: a pagoda of seven floors, a bronze bell and the door of hongyaemun.

Uisangdae Pavilion, one of the most popular sights in Naksansa, sits at the edge of the cliff, where Ui-sang used to sit in meditation. This place made us feel a bit like the gorgeous Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan (full post here).

Yangyang in South Korea

The temple is relatively big and spread over different areas. Count at least 1.5 hours to complete the visit. Make sure to check out Naksan temple if you are in Yangyang, it’s completely worth it.

>> READ: GULL GUIDE TO VISIT NAKSAN TEMPLE IN YANGYANG


Yangyang in South Korea

Naksan Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Yangyang but also one of the most beautiful in the country.

For us, it is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast. The long stretch of white sand and pine trees is absolutely gorgeous. Whenever we visit Yangyang, we like to take a long walk on Naksan beach. It is one of the most relaxing things to do. We also enjoy the sunset from there.

At Naksan Beach, you can also enjoy various seafood restaurants and cafes.

>> READ ALSO: THE BEST BEACHES IN SOUTH KOREA


Yangyang in South Korea

Hyuhyuam Hermitage is another beautiful temple located by the sea. In English, it means “Rest and Rest Again”. You will quickly understand why, as this place is so relaxing.

Yangyang in South Korea

The temple has a few large halls and big white statues, but the part we liked the most, is the small hidden beach and the path that lead to a flat rock by the water. We stayed there for quite a while just listening to the sound of the waves crushing against the cliff.


Yangyang in South Korea

Between Ingu and Jukdo Beach in Yangyang, there is a small mountain separating both beaches. There is actually a beautiful coastal walk built around the mountain called Jukdosan. Halfway through the walk, you will see a little temple nestled by the cliff. The temple is called Jukdoam.

Yangyang in South Korea

The temple and the coastal walk are stunning, yet not very touristy. We love walking by the sea, and this place is perfect for that. From Jukdo beach, head to your right, you will see the small mountain and the trail that will get you to Jukdoam. It’s easy to find it.


Yangyang in South Korea

If you are driving between Jukdo Beach and Surfyy Beach, you will have to pass through Gisamun Beach. Although not the most popular spot in Yangyang, we enjoyed some of our best surf sessions in Gisamun. On days when the waves were much smaller in Jukdo, we found much better swell in Gisamun. So you can consider this place as an alternative surf spot to Jukdo. It also gets less crowded than other surfing spots.

There is a huge parking lot in front of the beach, with a few simple restaurants.


Yangyang

If you want to experience Korean Hot Springs, then head to Osaek Carbonated Hot Spring located in Seoraksan Mountain. This is one of the best hot springs in Korea. You can’t really compare to the onsen in Japan but nevertheless, it is also a very good experience.

Osaek Carbonated Hot Spring offers 2 options, the basic price which allows entry to the baths only, and the higher option for more access to the sauna and other rooms. The spa is connected to the Greenyard Hotel, but anyone can use the spa. To get there, you will need approximately a 30-40min drive. There are also public buses going there.

Check out their website for more information here.

Address: 460-5, Osaek-ri, Seo-myeon, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do / 강원도 양양군 서면 대청봉길 58-12 (서면)


Yangyang is quite wide with multiple beaches. Hence, there are plenty of options, which can sometimes be overwhelming. Therefore, to make the most of it, we recommend staying at Ingu Beach. There are more options there, and as everything is more concentrated in this area, you will easily find restaurants, cafes, and other convenient shops.

We listed a few recommendations below, based on different budgets.

Yangyang in South Korea

This hotel is fairly new and offer spacious rooms. All rooms are directly facing the sea. On the first floor you have a convenient store and on the rooftop a beautiful cafe. It is therefore very practical.

The owner of the place is very nice, and gave us plenty of great recommendations. In terms of value for money, this probably the best option in Yangyang. You can check it out here.


Yangyang in South Korea

Located beside FlowBeach Hotel, L9 is another great place to stay in Yangyang. Every room has a full sea view and they all include either a private pool or private Jacuzzi. This place is very modern and must have been built just a few years ago.

A stay in L9 hotel is also very nice and a convenient place in Yangyang.


Yangyang in South Korea

Our last recommendation is actually at Naksan Beach.

This is one of our favorite beaches in South Korea, and Two-Y Hotel, is located right in front of it, with a majestic rooftop overlooking the sea. The rooms are also very modern with a full sea view or mountain view.

The other good thing about Two-Y hotel, is that they also serve breakfast which you can include in your room rate.


Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm

Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm is a great place to visit with your family. This is a huge park full of sheep. It it located more inland near Seoraksan Mountain (full guide for visiting Seoraksan Mountain). To get there from Yangyang, the best is to drive with your own car. It takes about 40 minutes.

Daegwallyeong is sometimes called the Alps of Korea. We visited Daegwallyeong in Winter during a snow storm and it sure did a bit like the Alps. We absolutely loved it. The farm is open all year round. It is also nice a trip during other seasons.

READ: FULL POST ABOUT DAEGWALLYEONG SHEEP FARM


Most of the best ski resorts in Korea, are located near the east coast. Indeed, it is one of the only countries in the world, where in the morning you can go snowboarding and afternoon surfing in the sea. There are many ski resorts in Korea.

>> READ: BEST SKI RESORTS IN SOUTH KOREA


Yangyang

Sokcho is a coastal town north of Yangyang, just a few minutes’ drive. This town is famous for its great seafood, beautiful beach, its lake, Yeonggeumjeong Pavilion (as shown in the photo above), and lots of other activities. Sokcho also attracts many tourists every year and is absolutely worth a visit.


4. HIKE AT SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK

Seoraksan

Seoraksan National Park, is one of South Korea’s most iconic and beautiful national parks. Located in the northeastern part of the country, within Gangwon Province, Seoraksan National Park is known for its dramatic landscapes, rugged granite peaks, lush forests, and rich biodiversity.

READ: FULL GUIDE TO VISIT SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK IN SOUTH KOREA


Yangyang

If you’re planning to travel from Seoul to Yangyang, you have several transportation options, including bus, train, and even a domestic flight. Here’s a step-by-step guide for each mode of transportation:

By Bus, go to the Seoul Express Bus Terminal. Here you can purchase a ticket to go directly to Yangyang. The journey takes a little over 2 hours.

By Train: head to Seoul Station. From there you can take a KTX (Korean fast train) to Gangneung. From Gangneung you can either take a local bus or taxi.

By flight: Yangyang has a tiny airport. You can fly from Gimpo to Yangyang.

Once you are. In Yangyang, you can travel by bus or taxi, although having your own vehicle would be MUCH easier.


Yangyang in South Korea

Yangyang is without a doubt one of the best beach gateways in Korea. If you are a surfer you won’t be disappointed. Of course, do not expect perfect waves like in Bali, but Yangyang is still a great spot.

Besides surfing, you can also feel the great vibes and meet friendly locals.

If you are visiting Yangyang, please share your experience with us by leaving a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

We lived in Korea for 3 years and wrote many posts about things to do in this country. You can check them all here.


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4 Comments

  1. in 2004 I visited this area that’s so beautiful un for getable seen and view I love that country south Korea
    best of luck so sweet peoples of south Korea

  2. wow amazing blog post! so in depth and makes me really excited about visiting korea <3
    when would you say is the best time to go for a beginner surfer like me? 🙂